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Retirement: Planning & Living


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15 Craigside

Pohai Nani

Retirement can be the beginning of the best years of your life—but you’ll need a good plan. Use these tips from local experts to start your journey.

1. Plan and prepare early

Kahala Nui

If you’re considering moving into a retirement community, think ahead in terms of years, not months. “I think people are surprised Kahala Nui’s wait list is two to four years,” says Darlene Canto, director of marketing and community outreach at Kahala Nui. And if you’ll need higher levels of care, you’ll need to consider the costs. “Average nursing care costs in Hawaii are $8,000 to $12,000 per month, per person, and are only going to go higher,” she says. To help ease financial stress, Kahala Nui offers its residents a Life Care Plan, which guarantees lifetime residency. “The Life Care Plan provides residents priority access to the Hi‘olani Care Center, and at a significant discount. Also, 90 percent of their resident deposit is refundable to their estate or to their heirs,” she says.

Early estate planning is essential to ensure your final wishes are fulfilled and your loved ones will be cared for. It’s best to plan while you’re stronger mentally and able to make careful decisions, says Michael Rudy of MacDonald Rudy Byrns O’Neill & Yamauchi, a law firm specializing in trust and estate planning and litigation. “In Hawaii, with good genes and good weather and happy people, life expectancy is long,” Rudy says. This means people are outliving their mental faculties, and unfortunately, there are more instances of the elderly being taken advantage of. “If you postpone estate planning, there’s a greater chance other influencers will come in and you won’t end up with what you wanted,” he says.  

2. Find the best living situation for you

“In Hawaii, we grew up with the idea that we should take care of our kupuna, and some may define that as moving Mom or Dad in,” says Tricia Medeiros, regional director of The Plaza Assisted Living. “Now, with everyone in the household working and the availability of other options, assisted living and other long-term care choices are more attractive.” Communities such as The Plaza allow residents to maintain their independence in an apartment-style community while receiving supportive services.

“When choosing a facility, there is no one community that is a perfect fit for everyone,” Medeiros says. The best way to choose, Medeiros says, is to experience it first. The Plaza offers short-term respite care, which allows you to try it, then decide whether the community fits your needs without a long-term commitment. “Moving to an assisted living community is a big decision for families, and The Plaza wants it to be the right decision,” she says. “It’s really about finding the best environment for our loved ones.”

The Plaza Assisted Living offers month-to-month rental communities and various levels of care. “Our residents can count on quality care and a great community that they can call home,” Medeiros says. “Our families can enjoy peace of mind knowing that their loved one is cared for and enjoying their golden years.”

"Our residents can count on quality care and a great community that they can call home." —Tricia Medeiros, The Plaza Assisted Living

The Plaza Assisted Living


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Honolulu Magazine September 2018
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